How Well Is Your Nonprofit Reaching Millennials?


By now we are all aware of the power of the Millennial generation. Though they are often described in an unflattering way, most nonprofit leaders know that this group of young, philanthropically-minded individuals is quickly becoming a group they need to focus on – if they are not already. Though they may not currently hold the financial power of Baby Boomers, by 2017, Millennials are expected to begin spending upwards of $200 billion annually. With numbers like these sitting on the horizon, it is clear that the time to begin building relationships with Millennial donors is now.

Though competition for the communication time of this demographic has always been high between the various nonprofits, charitable organizations are not the only ones struggling to gain the attention of this mobile, tech-savvy generation. With brands and marketers discovering the untapped potential of coming-of-age Millennials, how can your nonprofit compete? Take a few of the following suggestions into account when creating a strategy to target this fascinating group.

Not All Millennials Are The Same

Understanding audience segments is key if your nonprofit’s fundraisers hope to execute a successful request for gifts. Donor segmentation is an important aspect of your organization’s communications with donors, in general. Most givers do not respond well to a one-size-fits-all email blast, they want to feel as though they are being asked individually.

Sorting your donors by generation can be a good start, but not all members of a particular age group are the same. Millennials are a diverse group – some of the youngest are still teenagers and the oldest are just getting settled into the workforce. Rather than trying to focus one type of communication on such a wide range of ages, try refining your strategy. Are there some Millennials that have given to your nonprofit before? Are there some Millennials who are more prone to volunteer? Find a method to further segment your Millennial audience to better target your communication.

Be Accessible

For members of the Millennial generation, it is not enough to place a link to an e-giving platform on your nonprofit’s website or social profiles. This group of young activists has questions to ask and things to say – and they want to feel as though their thoughts and opinions are being heard. Collaborate with Millennials – not as a demographic, but as contributors – in order to connect and build relationships with them. Social platforms are one such way to do this. Rather than simply posting content, invite them to share their experiences on your social profiles, and respond to their interactions whenever possible.

They’re Not So Different

The final step to understanding how to target the Millennial generation is probably more simple than your organization imagines – treat them like any other donor. Just like you reach out to any other donor on an individual basis to connect and create a relationship, your nonprofit fundraisers should be taking the same approach with younger donors. Successful fundraising is about involving and engaging your donors, not just asking them for money. Just because the methods of reaching out may be slightly different with the most recent generation doesn’t mean that the goals for nonprofit fundraising have changed. Small adjustments to a larger strategy are all you need to keep Millennials interested in your cause.